by Dolapo Adelana
Senator Dino Melaye, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has commended the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking Friday morning on Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, Melaye said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has performed poorly in prosecuting high profile cases against the likes of Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose, former first lady, Patience Jonathan and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome.
Melaye also said he was not in support of the investigative panel led by President Yemi Osinbajo to investigate Lawal.
“That was a very fantastic move by Mr. President. I welcome the suspension especially of the SGF, though very belated it’s a very welcome development. I congratulate the president for taking such a bold step and we hope that decisions will also be taken in this manner on some other pending controversial issues.
He added, “There’s a lot of individuals that have either been investigated or not cleared by the Nigerian Senate and we expect that in the unity of purpose as enshrined in the constitution between the legislature and the executive, the executive should be more proactive especially in decision making.
“At times when you delay in taking some swift decisions, it creates some sort of bad blood and it discourages the spirit of the fight against corruption, because when you delay very important decisions it begins to send a signal that we are being lackadaisical in the fight against corruption but however, the president has done fantastically well by the suspension but I do not subscribe to the committee that was set up by the president because the three members of this committee, especially the Vice President and the two others (I don’t have anything against them). Osinbajo is a man of integrity, I have tremendous respect for him, but it’s not about him now… The suspension was okay but I expected the executive to wait for the report of the Senate especially when there’s already a communication between the presidency and the senate requesting for the final report. And as I am speaking to you, the committee is still working assiduously to complete their investigation.”
When asked on whether the Senate acted rashly in its rejection of acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Melaye replied, saying, “Absolutely not. The senate was not rash. The Senate was very meticulous, we had over two-third of senators presence that day. He was assessed, we also based our conclusion not just in the security report from the DSS but from the assessment of the acting chairman of the EFCC before us. I don’t know why the Senate is being bashed from disqualifying the chairman of the EFCC.”
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He added, “We should also be looking at recent times the number of high profile cases the courts have dismissed because if poor preparation before going to court. We have very fantastic high profile cases that we are expecting something very gracious and tangible to come out from – the Fayose case, the Mike Ozekhome case, the Patience Jonathan case and several other cases – that within the last three months have outrageously been lost against the EFCC. I have nothing against the person and personality of Ibrahim Magu, he is even my friend, he’s my brother, but the truth is that he came unprepared for a job interview and failed.”
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.